I was a fool for going out that night.
I was a fool for having too much to drink.
I was a fool for letting my girlfriend leave without me.
I was a fool for asking you to stick with me.
I was a fool for getting in that car with you.
I was a fool for going home with you.
I was a fool for believing what you said to me.
I was a fool for believing that I’d be safe.
So, was I fool for being raped?
You are a rapist—and I was a fool for ever thinking you were my friend.
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 8 out of 10 rapes are committed by someone the victim knew before the assault.
We often lower our guard when we are with someone we think we ought to trust. But we shouldn’t have to worry if our friend, coworker, or relative is going to rape us.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), 51.1 percent of reported rapes were committed by an intimate partner, and 40.8 percent were committed by an acquaintance. That leaves less than 10 percent of reported rapes being committed by a complete stranger.
We shouldn’t have to be more concerned about our safety when we’re with someone we know and see on a regular basis than when we decide to go out alone, but sadly, statistics show that we’re more likely to be assaulted by someone close to us than by a stranger.
That was the case each time I was raped, except for one instance, but even he was a friend of a friend who I was hanging out with that night. I fought so hard against my own mind to realize that I was not at fault, which was especially difficult considering it didn’t just happen once.
However, it shouldn’t matter who I was out with, where I went, or whether or not I drank. There is nothing I (or anyone) can do to deserve to be raped. We are not asking for it.
For so long, I’d advocate for victims of sexual assault to stop blaming themselves. For them to stop feeling guilty for whatever it was they thought they did that made them believe they were responsible for what happened. But for too long, I continued to blame myself.
I know all too well how easy it is to feel like I should have done this or shouldn’t have done that, but the fact of the matter is this: no one should rape anyone else.